Will Strickson

3 Dec 2020

The 2015 Vuelta a España winner is one of a host of new additions to the African team as they rebuild after sponsorship change

Fabio Aru has become the lastest rider to join Qhubeka-Assos in the WorldTour in 2021.

The 2015 Vuelta a España winner joins signings including Harry Tanfield and Simon Clarke on the African outfit who lost a wealth of riders as they narrowly avoided collapse.

The Italian is without a win since Stage 5 of the 2017 Tour de France when he was with Astana, failing to register a single top three finish in his three seasons at UAE Team Emirates.

Aru said of the opportunity: ‘In the last few years I haven’t experienced all of the success that I’d hoped for and so I will use this new step to draw from some of the simple factors that saw me achieve those results, as I know that I’m capable again of similar success.’

After Japanese company NTT pulled its sponsorship doubts loomed as to whether the team, which began as MTN-Qhubeka and spent three years as Team Dimension Data, would find a new sponsor in time.

Big names including Edvald Boasson-Hagen, Michael Valgren, Louis Meintjes and Giro d’Italia stage winner Ben O’Connor left while the squad’s future was uncertain meaning there were places for riders like Aru and Tanfield who found themselves off the WorldTour.

On Aru’s arrival, team principal Doug Ryder said: ‘To have a rider who has won a Grand Tour in the Vuelta, been fifth in the Tour de France and twice on the podium of the Giro adds a lot to our team’s development as we continue to strive to win on the world’s biggest stage; to inspire hope and create opportunity.’

Source: Cycling – Cyclist